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Setting Up A New PC: If It’s Easy, You’re Not Doing It Right…

I have needed a new PC for years!  But, times have been tough and even when they weren’t I’ve always found more important things to spend my money.  However, my PC has been acting up the past several months so I started to save up.  I started keeping my eyes out for good deals.  A few weeks ago, I found that deal and I pulled the trigger!

I work from home and by work from I mean that I occasionally build websites for clients, edit videos for my boss and spend the rest of the time trying to keep myself from reaching the through the screen and slapping the shit out of stupid people.  So, when it comes to a PC, I need certain things.  I need a decent graphics card, I needed an Intel i7 and I need a PC with two drives.  I need two drives in my PC because I when you render videos it’s best to have the videos you’re going to render on one drive and have them “render” to another drive. One does this so that you don’t have the same drive reading the input videos and writing the out put videos.  So, I can’t just buy any PC.

Not to mention, I have programs like Photoshop, Sony Vegas Pro, and 50 other programs that will needed to have their settings saved somehow and then reinstall all the programs on to the new PC.  It’s never easy and I always forget something.  For example, I wanted to give my old PC to my dad whose PC is even older and worse than mine.  So I wanted to re-install windows so that he he clean fresh copy with none of my junk on it.  Okay, I did it just because I didn’t want him to see all the porn.

This means I needed to make sure I saved everything I could possibly need before I re-installed windows. I thought I had done that.  I went to grab my Windows 7 Disk and it’s not where I thought it was.  Shit!  It means it’s in box.  Probably in the box in the closet behind my desk. That’s not easy to get to.  I first check all the boxes in my bedroom closet.  Nothing.  Then I grab an energy drink and crawl under my desk, get into the closet and start dragging out boxes.  Box after box, nothing.  The very last lost box, I find the installation disk.

Finally, I can start the install. I was about 30 minutes into it when I realized that after two days of transferring files from the old PC, I forgot one critical thing.  I forgot to save my email and account info. Fortunately, I was at a point where I could stop the install and recover the data I needed. The install took about an hour as I recall.  But, it was worth it because it downloaded all the updates before it installed windows.  At least that’s what it told me. When the install is finished, I was about turn it off when Windows Updates pops up and says I need to install some updates.  Only about 15 of them, no problem!  I install them and reboot.  Check to make sure everything is okay. Windows updates notifies me again that I have more updates to install.  This time, there’s 750 MB’s worth of them totaling almost 200 updates!  It took just over three hours for it install all those updates.  It was insane.  After working all day on getting the PC ready I finally went to bed at 5:45 am.

I wanted to do this PC upgrade right.  So I had to order some extra things that didn’t come with the PC from Dell I was having them ship to me.  I needed that secondary drive because it didn’t come with it and they wouldn’t add it since it was a “special.”  I needed a good external drive to hold lot’s of content for work.  I needed a video card.  Some of it, I could order through Amazon.  But for somethings, I needed questions answered.  I had to talk to someone that hopefully new more than I did about PC’s. The problem with finding someone like that is that I live in Bullhead City, AZ.  There’s one PC repair place that sells some stuff.  The closest Best Buy is an hour and a half away in Henderson, NV.  After striking out with the local PC Nerds here in Bullhead, I had no choice but to drive all the way out to the Best Buy.

To my surprise I found a knowledgeable tech guy and girl at the store.  The guy really new his stuff and the girl, was so helpful.  She wasn’t as PC savvy as the guy but she was smart and ran back and forth across the store finding the things I needed.  She was awesome!  I ended up leaving with a new power supply for my PC and a new Graphics Card.  It wasn’t the best graphics card it but it was pretty damn good.

Now to be honest, I hadn’t planned on getting graphics card right now.  I was going to use the basic Intel graphics.  However, as I was trying to attach my monitor to the new PC i see that my new PC only has a VGA hook up and my monitor cable had a HDVI or something like that connector.  I went back PC Nerds hoping they had a plug converter thing.  They did, it was 32 dollars and change for the damn thing.  I bring it back to my house, hook up the monitor and turn on my PC for the first time.  I can’t wait!  Haven’t turned my PC on yet so this is a cool moment.  The PC boots and the screen is blank! Tunes out I need the VGA converter on both ends.  I was not happy.

I could buy another one for another 33 bucks or I could just go buy a cheap video card with the monitor input I need or for close to the same price of what to of these converters would cost.  I take the converter back and I drive an hour and a half to Best Buy.  I end up having to buy a new power supply because the cool new graphics card requires a bigger power supply then little 300 watt one that came with my PC.  I leave the store with nearly 400 dollars less than I entered with.

When I get home, I start to install my new power supply first and it doesn’t have the right connector to the motherboard.  I was so pissed off.  Three hours there and back and the whole trip was a waste of time because I have to go back!  I repack the power supply, put the old one back in and decide that I will go ahead and install the graphics card. I pull the thing out of the box and it’s fucking huge. I mean, the fucking thing has it’s own zip code!

Nvidia Graphics Card

Seriously, you see the size of this beast?!  Oh how I wish it had fit though.

Anyways, I had to take it all back.  I got a lesser 2 gig DDR3 ram card but it hurt taking back the big one with that awesome DDR5 ram. I also got a smaller power supply.

It has been one thing after another getting this PC set up.  My secondary drive finally shows up in the mail the other day.  I go to install it and and it didn’t come with mounting screws.  I couldn’t believe it!  I just moved to Bullhead back in October and I still have crap in boxes.  It’s after hours so I have to wait another day before I can finally get the case on my new PC closed and set to go.

The very next morning I head to PC Nerds, ask for some mounting screws and the guy finds a little baggie with 4 of them and hands them to me.  I ask how much, he says, “no charge.”  It wasn’t much, I mean, they couldn’t have cost more than a buck or two but it really was the thought that counted.  I was so thankful. After all the crap I had gone through in setting this PC up, I wanted to hug the guy.  Thankfully there was a counter between us or it could have turned really awkward for us both.

Well, it’s all set up now as I type this.  My new Dell, with a 4th Generation Intel i7 quad-core 400ghz processor, a 2 Gig Nvidia Graphics Card, two 1 TB drives, a 5 TB external drive and new Phillips speakers (they were cheap but are pretty nice actually). I’ve purchased an upgrade to Sony Vegas 13 Pro and the Adobe CC package so now I have access to all their software.  Had been working with Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Fireworks CS5 for years now.  Glad to finally have all the new stuff that I have no idea how to use yet.

I have $10.57 in the bank left and I am seriously hoping no auto pay bills come in before I get paid again later today.  But, I feel good.  This PC is so fast compared to what I am used to.  I can’t wait to dig into the new Photoshop and Dreamweaver.  I also downloaded Muse from Adobe, that looks interesting.  So I will be spending the next month teaching myself how to use that.

After all is said and done though, I am so pleased with this PC.  The only thing that really sucks is Windows 8.1.  They did some really stupid things.  Apps that open if full screen that can’t be minimized.  And, if you don’t know how to exit the app you end up spending 5 minutes moving the mouse around like an idiot hoping you stumble upon the secret spot that will reveal a way to close the fucking window. Other than the OS, it’s really nice.  I’ve added some things to it that brings back the classic start menu instead of the crap they added with a page of apps and then another below with your programs.  The people designing it really, really screwed up, it’s so ridiculous trying to do work on OS that is designed to look like a smart phone.  Absolutely idiotic.

My Desktop on my Desktop.

The mess I made…